Ski touring

There are plenty of good ski touring spots around La Meije. You can ski tour above and behind Chazelet, on the scenic Emparis Plateau, in the Ecrins National Park, at the Lautaret and Galibier mountain passes or on the glaciers of the Meije Massif.

La Grave, a ski touring destination

Around La Grave, there are  numerous ski touring routes at all levels : Open snow fields and panoramic ridges in the south facing slopes of the valley that are perfect for beginners and intermediates, plenty of routes for experienced ski tourers as well as ski mountaineering routes for expert backcountry skiers.

  • Starting from the top station of the La Grave cable car : Routes on the Girose Glacier, towards the Dôme de la Lauze and Selle Valley, descents towards La Bérarde or Saint-Christophe-en-Oisans, the short version of the Tour of la Meije, the Enfetchores.
  • Starting from the Chazelet Ski Area : The Emparis Plateau, the Gros Têt, the Buffe Valley, the Mas de la Grave Peak, the Signal de la Grave.
  • Starting from the hamlets of La Grave : The Signal de La Grave and the Goléon Valley.
  • Starting from the Col du Lautaret : The Combeynot, the Col des Clochettes, the Col du Laurichard, the Col de Côte Plaine.
  • Starting from Villar d’Arène : all routes in the Ecrins National Park, the Chamossière and Alpe de Villar Mountain Huts, the Col d’Arsine, Adèle Planchard, the Col des Clots de Cavale.

Preparing your ski tour

Winter touring is not risk free. You must take into account the weather and the avalanche risk and choose a route that suits your skill level, your physical condition, your knowledge of the mountains as well as the snow conditions. Do not hesitate to explore with a mountain guide or a ski instructor.

What equipment do you need on a ski tour ? How do you prepare your ski tour ? Here you will find the advice of the mountain professionals of the Hautes Vallées  - La Grave, la Clarée and l’Izoard.

The pros' advice

Ski touring or split board touring with a guide or a ski instructor

Ski touring demands a good understanding of the winter mountains, the capacity to estimate risks related to the terrain and to identify avalanche risk zones. If you have little or no experience when it comes to navigating the winter mountain environment, it is highly recommended to go ski touring with a mountain professional. Mountain guides and ski instructors can guide you on your ski tour. You can join a public group or hire a guide or ski instructor for a private group. Both the mountain guides and the ski instructors organise outings at all levels, from beginner to expert. You can go on a half-day introduction tour, on a day tour on skis or on a splitboard, or you can go on a multiday trek on some of the most beautiful routes of the Ecrins, Oisans and Hautes-Alpes. The mountain guides of La Grave also organise outings where you will learn how to prepare your ski tour, how choose a good route and how to use the security equipment. You can also practise avalanche rescue with the ski patrol at the La Grave cable car or follow an avalanche course with mountain professionals.

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online booking

Ski les Enfetchores La Grave La Meije - © Benjamin Ribeyre

Ski touring with mountain guides

Bureau des Guides, La Grave

Ski touring with mountain guides

Touring on skis or snowboard is a unique experience where you access to runs far from the crowds. Single to multiple day tours, easy or difficult, everyone can find a tour suiting his/her…

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online booking

split-board poudreuse - © Snowlegend

Splitboard touring with Snowlegend

Go touring just like the skiers with a splitboard, a snowboard that splits in two for uphill climbing. The splitboard means going back to the origins of snowboarding, the very reason why…

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Book a mountain guide freeride ski, snowboard, in La Grave with Snowlegend

Snowlegend freeride mountain guides have been guiding ski, snowboard, ski touring and split-board trips in La Grave since 1993. Our Uiagm mountain guides will take you securely where the…

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Rent ski touring equipment

You can rent ski touring equipment and avalanche security equipment in La Grave, Villar d’Arène or Chazelet.

Where to rent ski touring gear

Ski touring holidays

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Ski de Randonnée à la Grave - © E. SMART

Ski touring holidays with La Grave Xpérience

Rn 1091 place du téléphérique, La Grave

Ski touring holidays with La Grave Xpérience

Set off on a ski tour or high-mountain ski raid around La Grave, in the Ecrins or Oisans massifs. We offer all-inclusive stays of 2 to 5 days in the massif, for beginners, experienced or…

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Freeride and off-piste skiing holidays with La Grave Xpérience

This weekend, accompanied by a mountain guide, we invite you to discover the joys and thrills of freeriding on the Vallons de la Meije cable car at La Grave, between Oisans and Ecrins. …

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Premier raid au Pays de la Meije « Entre Goléon et Pic du Mas de La Grave ».

It was the construction of two new refuges above La Grave, the Goléon refuge and the Pic du Mas de La Grave refuge, that led to the emergence of this looped route between the hamlets of Les…

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Two new waymarked winter touring routes give beginner ski tourers a choice between the Pontet Lake and the Aiguillon Ridge, both offering stunning views of the Ecrins Massif and the Romanche Valley.The Pontet Lake route is level 1 and the Aiguillon Ridge route is level 2. Both start from Villar d’Arène, opposite the Hôtel Les Agneaux. Free access.

The routes are marked by orange range poles during the winter season, but they are not secured. A security commission decides whether to open the routes or not, depending on the snow conditions. Please respect their descision, On the information board at the start of the routes, you will find advice on how to prepare your ski tour. There is also an avalanche beacon check point. On the information board at the arrival on the Aiguillon Ridge you will find advice for the descent. 

You can get information on the current snow conditions at the Mountain Guides Office (+33 (0)4 76 79 90 21,  They also organise ski touring training days where you learn about the snow pack, avalanche rescue, how to follow and set a track, risk management.

As these routes are not secured, you go on your own responsibility. On the information board at the start of the routes, you will find advice on how to prepare your tour :


The legendary Tour of la Meije is a ski mountaineering classic you should not miss out on. It is an alpine ski tour that demands a very good level of proficiency both in skiing and ski mountaineering as well as a very good physical condition. The high route goes around an iconic peak at the heart of the Ecrins Massif. It will take you over high passes with breathtaking views, over numerous glaciers and down unforgettable hills. The huts that are perched up high provide a unique chance to admire the sun rising and setting over the great Alpine summits.


Practical info: Ski touring towards La Meije

The Tour of la Meije can be done on skis in 3 to 6 days, starting from Arsine - Villar d’Arène or La Bérarde. It crosses 5 high mountain passes with a total of close to 5000 m (16 400 ft) uphill. It is possible to do a short version in two days, starting from the top station of the La Grave cable car.

The hut keepers in the Ecrins Massif created a website which gives you all the practical information you need to plan your ski tour around la Meije and on the Haute Route des Ecrins. Remember to check the current conditions by calling the mountain huts, mountain guides’ offices and by consulting the weather and avalanche forecasts. Don’t hesitate to hire a mountain guide to accompany you on this very demanding route.

Prepare your Tour of la Meije



During your ski tour, remember that wild animals such as chamois, ptarmigans and black grouse need to be left  in peace most especially in the winter. Their survival hangs by a thread when snow is deep and food rare. Below you will find the advice of the Ecrins National Park on how to avoid disturbing them.